Challenges and opportunities
One third of London Heathrow’s airport passengers are connecting travellers. Heathrow wanted to improve their customers’ journeys between flights. The opening of Terminal 5 and major remodelling of the other terminals in recent years gave Heathrow a great opportunity to look at the experience of connecting passengers. They asked Engine Service Design to work with them to develop a seamless and clearly branded service experience for these customers.
Engine defined and delivered a visual brand and design handbook for the connections journey, specifying environments and staff roles to support the brand. We worked with architects and suppliers to implement the visual identity and connections journey in Heathrow, which has been live since 2007.
What we did
To understand the experience of connecting passengers, Engine spent time on design research, walking and mapping the routes between the terminals in Heathrow and interviewing the staff responsible for looking after passengers connecting through the airport.
We reviewed Heathrow’s passenger research and began to develop customer segmentation to represent different types of connecting travellers and their needs. The core needs of each customer segment provided the basis for the design principles to guide the process and development of the service.
Engine wanted to ensure that the service experience of connecting passengers was as clear and seamless as possible, communicated through distinct visual branding. We mapped the customer journey through the existing spaces in the airport and identified key areas and themes to use as inspiration for the look, feel and brand of the journey.
The visual brand was brought to life through a set of service design principles, packaged into a Design Handbook for use by Heathrow’s terminal project teams. The handbook covered colour and materials palettes, the design and placement of graphic elements, the use of images and detailed guidance for implementation of the service.
The Handbook also specified fundamental aspects of the service experience of connecting passengers, such as the placement of furniture, interior design of spaces, staff roles and use of language, for a clear and differentiated service.
Finally, Engine worked with project managers, architects and manufacturers on the implementation of the Connections brand and journeys across Heathrow airport, which has successfully been in place since 2007. The results were so effective that Heathrow asked Engine to next address how they communicate with their passengers across the whole airport.